Malaysia will pay all obligations on 1MDB debt: finance minister

Malaysia's Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng speaks during a news conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia May 24, 2018. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia will honor all payments on debt raised by insolvent state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), even though its new government is unhappy about money missing from the fund, finance minister told reporters on Friday.

“We will honor those even though we are not happy with 1MDB, but we have to honor our international obligations,” Lim Guan Eng said.

“I think this will reassure the markets that this government knows what it is doing.”

In a statement on Thursday, Lim said the government has guaranteed 38 billion ringgit ($9.54 billion) of 1MDB’s debt at the end of 2017.

The new government has made a priority of finding out how billions of dollars went missing from 1MDB, and anti-graft agents have quizzed former prime minister Najib Razak who set up the fund a decade ago.

Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing, even though corruption allegations have swirled around him.

Lim said earlier this week the Najib government deceived the public and parliament over the country’s financial situation and 1MDB, and that it had been bailing out debt-burdened 1MDB since April 2017, paying a total of 6.98 billion ringgit so far.

Reporting by Liz Lee, Writing by John Geddie